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An unusual and mesmerising novel from the cult Japanese author

Kafka on the Shore follows the fortunes of two remarkable characters. Kafka Tamura runs away from home at fifteen, under the shadow of his father's dark prophesy. The aging Nakata, tracker of lost cats, who never recovered from a bizarre childhood affliction, finds his pleasantly simplified life suddenly turned upside down. Their parallel odysseys are enriched throughout by vivid accomplices and mesmerising dramas. Cats converse with people; fish tumble from the sky; a ghostlike pimp deploys a Hegel-spouting girl of the night; a forest harbours soldiers apparently un-aged since WWII. There is a savage killing, but the identity of both victim and killer is a riddle.

Murakami's novel is at once a classic quest, but it is also a bold exploration of mythic and contemporary taboos, of patricide, of mother-love, of sister-love. Above all it is an entertainment of a very high order.


For sheer love of a thumping narrative, the novel delivers gloriously-Inventive, alluring'


Wonderful-Magical and outlandish

Daily Mail

Cool, fluent and addictive

Daily Telegraph

Hypnotic, spellbinding

The Times

A magnificently bewildering achievement-Brilliantly conceived, bold in its surreal scope, sexy and driven by a snappy plot-Exuberant storytelling

Independent on Sunday

Addictive-Exhilarating-A pleasure

Evening Standard

Murakami's most addictive fix to date


Engrossing and wildly inventive

Times Literary Supplement

A remarkable writer

'Laden with philosophical overtones and enchanting wit'


richly inventive.

The Times

Murakami's exquisitely simple prose and deft evocation of the surreal are captivating and sublime.

Sunday Times

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Formats & editions

  • Paperback


    October 3, 2005


    512 pages

    RRP $19.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Amazon
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook


    October 10, 2011

    Vintage Digital

    512 pages

    Online retailers

    • iBooks
    • Amazon Kindle
    • Booktopia
    • eBooks
    • Google Play
    • Kobo

Also by Haruki Murakami

Men Without Women
Norwegian Wood
1Q84: Books 1, 2 and 3
Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage
Killing Commendatore
Absolutely on Music
Wind/ Pinball
The Strange Library
1Q84: Book 3
1Q84: Books 1 and 2
What I Talk About When I Talk About Running
Murakami Diary
After Dark
Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman
Birthday Stories
A Wild Sheep Chase
Dance Dance Dance
Hard-Boiled Wonderland And The End Of The World
The Elephant Vanishes
Sputnik Sweetheart
After the Quake
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle


The Handmaid's Tale
To Kill A Mockingbird
Norwegian Wood
A Gentleman in Moscow
Echo Burning
The Girl on the Train
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time
Dragonfly In Amber
The Heart's Invisible Furies
The Narrow Road to the Deep North
The Golden House
The Travelling Cat Chronicles
On Chesil Beach
Ready Player One
The Trip of a Lifetime
The Light Between Oceans
Animal Farm